Chennai: The sudden volte face by DMK chief M Karunanidhi on his demand for Eelam in the context of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) meeting on August 12 — where no resolution would be passed in support of Eelam — has least angered or even surprised many Tamil rights groups. They feel the manner in which Karunanidhi made his view known has totally exposed his apathy for the sentiments of Tamils.
In fact, when Karunanidhi earlier wound up the TESO, which he first started in 1985, he is said to have told some leaders that he did so because LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran had no respect for him, Naam Tamilar leader, S Seeman, told a television channel. Seeman also said that the DMK leader never had any genuine concern for the Tamils of Sri Lanka.
Even a functionary of the Dravidar Kazhagam told a TV channel that if Karunanidhi was not in favour of a separate Tamil Eelam, others who are part of TESO will make a demand for it. Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam leader, Viduthalai Rajendran, was more critical. He said Karunanidhi might as well call the outfit as the Tamil Nadu unit of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconcilation Commission) rather than name it as TESO.
The sudden volte face by DMK chief M Karunanidhi on his demand for Eelam has not surprised many Tamil groups.
“Though we knew that there was more politics behind his revival of TESO than any ideology, we supported it because we thought it would serve the cause but now he has proved that he was driven only by political considerations. He had lost his political mooring at that time when he slowly moved towards the Eelam cause, trying to cash in on the people’s sentiment, through a series of programmes but now he has completely lost his opportunity. What was the need for a conference in the name of Eelam if no resolution would be passed in support of Eelam,” he asked.
Thirumurugan Gandhi of ‘May 17 Movement’ said that Karunanidhi was not being honest to his commitment. “Fundamentally, when TESO is for Tamil Eelam, how can he take the demand for Eelam away from it?”, he wondered. He said that Karunanidhi has been consistently cheating the supporters of Eelam within the DMK and in Tamil Nadu through his inconsistencies on the issue. Either he should be a man who did not understand the nuances of a people’s movement or the political dynamics behind people’s aspirations or he was being just dishonest, he said.
Rajkumar Palanisamy of Tamil Cultural Centre said that it was dangerous to have such politicians around as they were a threat to human society. When not even one political party that supported the Eelam cause had not backtracked on the demand, why should the DMK do it again and again, he asked. He said he had taken the entire Tamil community for a ride for the second time by taking the Eelam issue out of TESO. “He did it earlier through the farce of a fast that he undertook in 2009. Now he has done it again by bowing to pressure from Centre,” he said. That he had been dancing to the tunes of the Centre only went to prove that he had something to hide, he added.
Most of the activists were also aghast at the manner in which Karunanidhi intimidated a reporter who raised the question about his roping in the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGT). Karunanidhi scowled at the reporter, asking “Where is it? Have you seen it?”
But some activists confirm that the TGT was given an invitation to attend the TESO meeting, which was turned down. “If he did not know where TGT is, how did he despatch the invitation,” they asked.